Visiting the Small Girls' House, Dec 2016
These sweet girls have taught me that the simple things in life are the most important things. Read my blog post, "Simple Things" here.
High School Graduation 2016
Graduation at Orphanage Emmanuel is an especially important day for the youth here, and is celebrated with enthusiasm equivalent to that of a high school Prom in the USA. Graduates attend in formal wear, and are escorted into the building by special guests. The event includes a few speeches by academic staff and selected students, the individual recognition of graduates and presentation of diplomas, and a catered meal.
Many children and youth at Orphanage Emmnauel are not actually true orphans, but rather live in the center because of issues such as extreme poverty or abuse. Depending on the individual case, many graduates invite their family members to the event to celebrate with them. In addition, child sponsors and friends attend graduation.
My family sponsors a young girl, Dalia (pictured in the gray dress), who I became close with while working at Emmanuel for 3 years. She is a teenager and graduated with excellent grades this December. We are so proud of her! The day felt extra-sentimental, as she wore my old prom dress to graduation.
I am so thankful to have been able to make a short visit to Emmanuel at the end of my backpacking trip through Latin America. I had missed these sweet, silly girls so much!